Archive for February, 2009

Communicating Your Health Concerns
February 24, 2009

communicating-your-health-concerns-imageIt is so easy to say to some one “How are you” and to answer, “Well, How about you?”

This conversational banality does not fare well with doctors or as a patient.

 

If you don’t feel well and are ill, it is an art to describe your symptoms intelligently. Most of us don’t have experience in this reporting skill. We end up sounding rather vague or worse yet we don’t communicate at all.

 

Using a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most severe of symptoms, you can get a grasp on your health concerns. Whether it is a cold, aches or pains or a treatment, using this scale is helpful. I learned to effectively use the scale about symptoms and health concerns during my breast cancer treatments.

 

Being a menopausal woman, and therefore sometimes forgetful, I also recommend writing down your symptoms and concerns, before you see a doctor. Then remember to bring your lists to your appointment after you have prioritized them.

 

Even if you are not seeing a doctor right now, but have a nagging concern, I recommend keeping a notebook with dates. One of the first question a doctor will ask is “How long have you had these symptoms?” and you want to be able to know the time frame.

 

I use questions for myself like: Is this symptom interfering with my life? Am I not doing activities or functioning well because of a symptom?  Am I self medicating to relieve the symptoms?

 

Some offices tell you to bring in all the medications you are taking. Why not be proactive and type up the name of the drug, the dosage, whether it is generic or not and the reason you take it. Include all supplements and herbs by brand and dosage. Get the most effective care from your health care provider by being your own health advocate and communicate clearly.

 

 

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Previvor
February 17, 2009

A new word in the lexicon of breast cancer and ovarian cancer is “Previvor”.

A previvor is a person who does not have cancer yet, but is at a higher, elevated risk to get cancer. Previvors are demonstrated in those women who test positive for the BRCA gene mutation.

 

BRCA gene mutation means higher than normal risk for developing breast and or ovarian cancer at an increasingly early age. Also men and women who carry this mutation have a 50% chance of passing it on to their children.

 

The BRCA gene mutation and previvor status recently made news and raised awareness by actress Christina Applegate’s disclosure. Previvors have a whole new set of decisions when concerning their predisposition to cancer, such as;
removing breasts, ovaries, freezing eggs and having children.

 

There is a wonderful documentary. “In the Family” by Joanna Rudnick who directs and tells her story as a BRCA gene mutation carrier. Read all about Joanna and her film in the cover story of Mamm magazine, www.mamm.com, or see some highlights from the PBS broadcast, http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/inthefamily/special_video.htmlprevivors1

 

It is educational, inspiring, and opens a discussion for all women.

 

The Business of Girl Scout Cookies in 2009
February 10, 2009

thin-mintsHave you been approached by your neighbor Girl Scout yet? Have you seen the Girl Scouts out side your grocery store? Do the words ‘Thin Mints’ bring a desire to buy for you? It is Girl Scout Cookie Season, 2009. I have my money ready.

 

Prepare yourself for the impact of a down economy in your GS cookie purchase. You may want to buy more. The cookies will remain $4.00 per box, but the quantity of some of the varieties will be less than previous years. On other varieties, the cookies will be smaller in size. www.girlscouts.org

 

 

What does this mean? It means the girls scouts are learning at a young age how to sell, market, develop selling strategies, and position their product in a down economy. They are learning the affects the economy has on everyone and every business. The Girl Scouts are learning how to survive in a recession. If I see in the future a resume of a young woman who lists an accomplishment of 1,000 boxes of GS cookies sold in 2009, I know this is an experienced sales person, with marketing expertise!

Menopausal Eyesight
February 4, 2009

eyeglassesMy menopausal eyes are now 100% in corrective lenses With Bifocals! My eyes are too dry to wear my contacts. They stick to my eyeballs and no amount of drops is helping me get them out easily.

 I get very anxious when I can not remove my contact lenses. I am frustrated with having to whip out my readers to read. I am tired of buying readers by the gross and still have to launch a search only to locate just one pair.

I am sick of squinting at documents to make out what is written. I am fed up with comments about font size directed toward me. I now say what is the point? I just wear my damn glasses!

I see so much clearer with my glasses that it has depressed me. With-out any corrective lenses, my skin looks to have no wrinkles. My make-up looks flawless. My hair appears shiny and lustrous. My house never needs dusting and my floors look clean. I don’t see fingerprints on the kitchen appliances or the computer screens or smudges on the windows.

When I put on my glasses with the bifocals, I see reality. I see wrinkles and some needed blending in my make-up application and the use of additional hair mousse. The house and office that seemed so spotless is another illusion to my corrected vision.

Reality can be an illusion and the secret to the menopausal eyesight blues; No corrective lenses are the way to go for everything to look fabulous. For the 2 of you who don’t need any vision correction, or those who had the Lasik, and still don’t need readers, I say good for you!